The Last Idealist

I have a feeling about you. I know you'll do what's right.
---Irene March

"The Postman was written as an answer to all those post-apocalyptic books and films that seem to revel in the idea of civilization's fall. It's a story about how much we take for granted -- and how desperately we would miss the little, gracious things that connect us today. It is a story about the last idealist in a fallen America. A man who cannot let go of a dream we all once shared. Who sparks restored faith that we can recover, and perhaps even become better than we were."
---David Brin

The first two parts of Brin's novel were first published separately as "The Postman" (1982) and "Cyclops" (1984). Both were nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novella. The completed novel was awarded first prize in the John W. Campbell Awards for the best science fiction novel of the year in 1986, and won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel that same year. It was also nominated for Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel.

The motion picture, with Kevin Costner in the lead role, didn't fare so well.

The movie took home five Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Picture, Worst Actor, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay and Worst Original Song. Roger Ebert described The Postman as "good-hearted" yet "goofy" and "pretentious". However, Ebert recognized the movie as a failed parable, for which he said the viewers "shouldn't blame them for trying".

Here is hoping that this new take on an old theme, with Barack Obama as the harbinger of a better America (and of what is best in all of us), will fare better with the critics---or the hecklers.

1 comment:

  1. I read the books, and saw the movie. I actually enjoyed both the reads and the view, despite the critics. The analogy is sound unless one draws a straight line between the hecklers and the critics. When that happens the message blurs and the significance diminishes.